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tv   In the Arena  CNN  June 3, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT

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grizzly, and one thing they might have been discussing, how about this front page. mitt romney announced his candaidacy for president in new hampshire. there's a reference right here. palin hits the sea coast dominating the front page, just the way she wanted it. have a great weekend. "in the arena" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- >> good evening. i'm eliot spitzer. welcome to the program tonight. dismal jobs numbers. let's take a look pt the unemployment rate went up to 9.1% and the wrong direction and in pack, the real unemployment rate 15.8% and that totals 24.3 million people when you include the unemployed, the underemployed and those too discouraged even to be counted anymore. i'm going show you math that makes it even worse. let me show you. we created 54,000 jobs last
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month. it doesn't sound too terrible until you remember we have 24 million unemployed folks who are simply not going get back to full employment ever at that rate especially when you consider population growth. we will talk about that and the concerns about a double-dip recession with the white house in just a moment, but first, here are the other stories we're drilling down on tonight. yemen, a ticking time bomb. >> missiles fired on the presidential compound, and violent protests. and a humanitarian crisis in the making and john edwards today indicted by a grand jury. jeffrey toobin joins me. is this an american tragedy? then the presidential pope, ralph reed hosts a college of evangelicals and every republican hopeful will be there to kiss his ring. who will get his blessing? >> now to the jobless number,
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any way you look at them, they're not pretty help how will the white house respond and what will the recovery really look like? joining us from the white house is the money man, austin goolsbee. austen, thanks for coming on the show. >> thanks for having me again, eliot. >> i know the president was out there again saying this was a bump in the road. i don't want to beharsh, but it seems like more than a bump in the road. it seems like there's an argument that we're dipping into a double-dip recession. what will change in the near-term to bring job creation back? >> well, hold on. i don't think, you know, the one month is not a trend. one month ago we came in 100,000 above expectations and if you remember, i said don't ever make too much out of any one-month report. this month we're 100,000 or so below expectations and again, don't make too much out of one month's report. multiple-month average is a far more accurate barometer of where
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is the labor market and the last six months we've added about 1 million jobs in the private sector. what happened is we had some relatively stiff headwinds that slowed the growth rate coming from gas prices, coming from the tragic events of natural disaster origin in japan and some of the financial issues and if you slow the growth rate you'll slow the job creation engine, but we have an official forecast that we update every six months so we don't update that in response to any one month's numbers. >> couldn't agree with you more, that a, you don't make too much out of one data point. fourth quarter growth last year above 3%. first quarter this year down to 1.8. you mentioned gas and you're right. japan, the tsunami and a disaster and horrendous. hopefully you don't have a repeat of that, but you still have the gas and energy costs that is a continual crisis and
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long-term structural unemployment that is a continuum crisis. we still haven't persuaded corporate america which has record profits to begin to hire again. so what is going to change their psychology or the demand curve to get corporate america to begin to hire? >> i know you say that, but we have added more than 2 million jobs in the last 15 months and more than 1 million in the last six months, so i don't think it's accurate to say that this is -- that there has been no turnaround and that companies do not express willingness to hire. i think the growth rate makes a big difference. you're right, the headwinds of the beginning of this year slowed growth compared to what it has been over the last year and that is the root of -- of what the -- of what the problem would be with the slowdown and so the question is are those aspects of rising problems going to continue rising? so gas prices have come down a
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bit. we have had the investment tax insensitives and the payroll tax cut passed by the president in december, have come online and those will be contributing over the entire course of 2011. you've seen the president outline start-up america to encourage entrepreneurship. you've seen business investment growing at double digit rates. >> i'm not -- i'm not saying the president hasn't been using every policy available to him. he has been, it just hasn't been working as effectively as we would hope or as effectively as it did when we were coming out of prior recessions which is why people are worried there's a structural problem. >> i don't think that's quite accurate and through the last recession it was 22 months before we added any jobs. so in the last 15 months we've added more than 2 million jobs in the private sector. in the comparable period art last recession we had lost almost 200 jobs. so i don't actually think that
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that's true. >> last question for you, austen. is there some intention between the effort and the policies you want to put in place to begin to drive the engine of growth faster and faster and the negotiations you're having on the debt in the sense that if you want to drive the economy and you want stimulus and you want spending and you want more activity. on the other hand if you're going to be cutting government spending with some sort of deal on the debt that that seems to stand in opposition to what you might do in terms of growth? how do you work through that? >> i see where you're going with it. i would say most of the discussion about the deficit that the president is putting forward is about our long run fiscal challenge. it is not about the next six months or that kind ever thing. i would say as regards to the recovery, when the president comes into office and we're losing 780,000 jobs a month and we're teetering at the edge of depression, government is really the driver of recovery. it's the private sector's in freefall at that moment and so the only thing we can do is rely on the government to prevent
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something worse. we are now transitioning to a completely different environment and this is one where the private sector's got to be the leading arm of the recovery. so what the government's trying to do is give the incentives to help the private sector stand up so i don't think we should not think of it all as being about the amount of government stimulus. we should be thinking of are we preserving in the budget while living within our means, those things will foster the growth rate of the country going forward, the education spending, the research and development and the things like that, and if we adopt a balanced plan like what the president's proposing, i think we can preserve that stuff. >> austen goolsbee, thank you very much for joining us. let's hope next month's numbers are more affirmative than today's numbers were. >> take care. president obama traveled to a chrysler plant to toledo, ohio and he talked about the jobless numbers.
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>> there isn't anyone who hasn't looked for work and hasn't found something yet. even though the economy's growing and even though it's created more than 2 million jobs over the past 15 months, we still face some tough times. we still face some challenges. this economy took a big hit. it's just like if you had a bad illness, if you got hit by a truck, you know, it's going to take a while for you to mend and that's what's happened to our economy. it's taking a while to mend. there are always going to be bumps on the road to recovery. we're going to pass through some rough terrain, but anyone would have a hard time with. >> there is the phrase, a bump in the road. we talked about it with austen goolsbee and the president says that's all these numbers are. those words caught the ear of senior political analyst david gergen as well. david joins me now. david, what do you think? was this the right tone for the president to take on a day when
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the job numbers are pretty bleak at beast? >> i was surprised about this, eliot. basically the president and his chief economic adviser aufrten goolsbee earlier in the day who both called it a bump in the road. for most americans what they've seen is a flood of bad numbers not only on jobs, but in manufacturing, housing, consumer confidence is down and the economists are lowering their growth projection for the second quarter, and what this number seemed to do today was to confirm that there is a sharp deceleration in the economy. thery ie's a softening in the economy and i would have assumed there are alarm bells to go off in the economy, and i want to tell you that we're concerned. we're listening closely and we are ready to act if we see that this is definitely softening and we're treating it as a one-month
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number and we're on top of this, and we believe if there's deceleration, we'll move and move to protect american job, and i do think it will have an impact on his negotiations over the deficits. >> i couldn't agree more with you. he seemed blase about these numbers and everyone will look at this and say this crystallizes our deepest fears. he said when you're recovering from an illness it takes time. most people are wondering whether we're going to the right doctor. as a doctor for the economy, he will tell us what is the game plan? i didn't hear that today. >> i agree with that, eliot. there are two things we look for from a doctor and that is the first place, what is your diagnosis of what's going on and do i understand it? secondly, what is the best plan for fixing things and i don't think we got either one of those today, the voting public. it's not a big deal that he said this, but i was surprised. i thought it was a mistake. i thought he should have been much clearer about how serious this -- this -- these numbers
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are not only on john's point, housing and that sort of thing and then had a much clearer plan and absent those two things there are a lot of americans who will wonder who is in charge in washington and what's the plan to get out of this? >> is mitt romney, who is saying change your doctor on the economy. look at these job numbers and confirms everything that the republican party's been saying? >> well, this was a -- you never want to have bad news help a candidacy, but there is a situation where the news today was very consistent with what romney was talking about as he declared yesterday, and i do think he can step forward and say, look, i'm the guy who's created jobs in the private sector. i know something about this. i have a better diagnosis. the danger for romney is he may come up with the wrong set of solutions and he's got to be very careful about this himself now. he's going to -- the spotlight and romney will have more of a spotlight here after these numbers and he's got an opportunity to be more
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convincing about the dr. fix it, but he's got to make sure he's got diagnosis and the answer right. >> i think it's interesting to come back to mitt romney just for a moment and the contrast between mitt romney on the economy and john mccain on the economy and john mccain, a great admiration for him is an individual on many levels and looked a bit like a deer in headlights when he crashed in the middle of the '08 campaign and romm mitt romney is comfortable and given the track record of his president, mitt romney may have traction on this issue as the conversation carries forward. >> i agree with that. john mccain was an authority on foreign affairs and especially on war and he is more of an authority on the economic picture and it's consistently with his emphasis and there are some other candidates that will have to step up to it as well on the republican side, but i do think that in effect, it beckons mitt romney to stand in the spotlight and tell us what you would do. this is your moment.
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it's come earlier than people might have expected. >> that's exactly right. david gergen, thanks for your insights on these issues. >> thanks, eliot. coming up, chaos in yemen as the opposition fires into the presidential compound, but first, jeffrey toobin is here. jeff, not a good day for john edwards, the former presidential candidate. what happened? >> he was indicted on six counts and the certainty is if he's convicted he will lose his law license and in all certainty his freedom. he'll go to prison if he loses this case. >> i would say that qualifies as not a good day. >> fascinating conversation and we'll have that and more coming up. fareed zakaria on the a country on the brink of sill ilwar when we come back. that's why right here, in australia, chevron is building one of the biggest natural gas projects in the world. enough power for a city the size of singapore for 50 years. what's it going to do to the planet? natural gas is the cleanest conventional fuel there is. we've got to be smart about this. it's a smart way to go. ♪
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>> now to the increasingly dangerous situation in yemen. there is a full-blown civil war tonight. what began as a protest became an assault in the yemeni capital. protesters attacked the presidential palace. explosions rocked the mosque inside the palace during friday prayers and reporters say embattled leader abdullah salei was, quote, lightly injured. yemeni television played an audio recording from salei claiming seven people were killed in the attack.
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a quick prime run on this latest mideast country plunged into the crisis. it is twice the size of wye onlying with a population of 24.1 million, most of them poor. the gdp per capita is $2,600, a fraction of what it is here. unemployment at last estimate was 35% which, of course, was a trigger for the unrest that began there back in march. joining me now from the capital city of sanaa by phone is abdul alvaradi, he is a member of the democratic awakening movement in yemen. thanks for joining us. >> caller: thank you. >> the president spoke today. is there any progress in reaching a resolution ever what is increasingly being viewed as a violent civil war? >> caller: the speech that the president delivered just a few moments ago did not indicate that he intends to resolve to peaceful negotiations and the
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supplement of the situation, although it's very clear to me that if he chooses to go, the country will go into civil war. >> and if the alternatives are civil war and chaos on the one hand and a peaceful resolution on the other, several times there appear to have been resolutions that were insipient and were close. what is the stumbling block that is preventing a resolution of this by peaceful means. >> caller: he never accepted the idea that he will leave office and therefore, he refuses to sign at the very last moment an initiative which would have given him honorable exit and protection from prosecution afterwards. right now i think he will consider, given the fact that while he was striking at the clan with immunity that the immunity is no longer and now he is as vulnerable as they are with this violence. >> meanwhile, we seem to get the
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sense and of course, weir not there, but the sense we get is that the economy of emsen in freefall, that it is almost grinding to a halt, that a country that is already impoverish side getting to the point where people are destitute and without food. do you not need an immediate resolution of this to prevent chaos at an economic level? >> the economic crisis was already very bad before the violence started. right now maybe one-third of the populati population, if this continues we will have people falling dead on the streets. >> all right. thank you very much for joining us and i look forward to continuing this conversation. >> caller: thank you. >> now to understand more deeply yemen's importance to us here in the united states and to the rest of the troubled middle east, let's turn to cnn's own fareed zack rya and he is the host of "fareed zack ar yie
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gps," first of all, yemen, why do we care? i hate to be flippant about it, but where is it, why does it matter and what is the relationship of the government with emen? >> we should care about yemen and there are two countries that matter directly to the american people. saudi arabia because of the price of oil and yemen because of al qaeda. the al qaeda in the arabian peninsula which is the sort of offshoot of al qaeda that exists in yemen is probably and intelligence sources agree on this probably the most dangerous al qaeda offshoot outside of the one in pakistan. so if this is the one, if you remember, that planned the printer cartridge bombs. >> the toner cartridges were going to be sent on the airplanes and blown up sent over to chicago. >> i don't tend to hype these things, those were very sophisticated bombs so clearly, there is a pretty advanced, technically advanced terrorist organization out there and al qaeda is actually gaining right now strength in yemen. >> in yemen, we are seeing the
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complete breakdown of civil society. the rebels are pushing back against an autocratic regime that's been helpful to the united states and we see chaos emerging and in that chaos you see al qaeda and the arabian peninsula will cement a foothold to cement a launching pad that we ought to be terrified of. >> president salei is finding himself battered, pushed from all sides including the international community. so he is withdrawing his army from all peripheral parts of yemen. so he's consolidating. now, what he's doing effectively is seating those peripheral parts to al qaeda and that is what's happening. they're taking town after town, area after area, and what he's doing is he's presenting yemen and the world with a stark choice. either you support me or al qaeda takes over yemen. john brennan, the counter terrorism adviser has gone to yemen to see if he can broker some deal. this is one of those cases where
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it has been very valuable that president obama has not jumped up and down and said president salei has to go because we certainly want to see if we can ease him out, but we don't want yemen to be taken over by al qaeda. >> having said that, the u.s. statements have gotten somewhat stronger in terms of his response which has been repressive, there lz been violence used by the government and not to the extreme of syria or libia, certainly, but our statements in response to his use of force have gotten stronger over time. >> clearly, we are trying to engineer an exit strategy for him and it's been very frustrating because he seems to agree to an exit strategy and then has buyer's remorse the next day partly because he's trying to protect various elements of an entourage of family and things like that, but at the end of the day we need to find a way for him to go without total chaos because that will certainly benefit al qaeda. >> once again, we have the paradox where we have the greatest leverage with countries that are closer to us and therefore tyrants, and let's
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acknowledge, most of them are tyrants who are closer to us and are most likely to be deposed where as an assad or gadhafi reject this out of hand and use unlimited violence and manage to hold on. there seems to be that tension. why should it be closer with the united states and they'll turnous and force us out. isn't this a paradox? >> it is a paradox. if you're a dictator who tends to repress his people it's a good thought which is being ally to the united states has a down side which is in the end the united states is very uncomfortable supporting dictatorships. i don't think this is such a bad thing for the world. >> the economy continues to collapse and is that not a backdrop and can we resuscitate it in a way that al qaeda is gaining more turf in a country like yemen. >> no. yemen is a banket case. it is the banket case. it had a civil war of south yemen and north yemen and they unified. just remembering how much of
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this problem is man made. yemen's economy is not destined to be the kind of banket case it is. when the british ruled and when they had an empire there were two british trading posts. one was aden which was in yemen and the other is singapore. fast forward 40 years later and singapore has higher per capita gdp and yemen has turned into a hell hole. >> i think the gdp of yemen is something approaching $25 billion. this is a pittance of an economy. 34% of the nation, i believe, lives below the poverty line on $2 a day, just numbers that we have a hard time fathoming almost without access to food. >> we are just trying to stabilize. all we want is order because if you don't have that, you will have two phenomenon come out of yemen. one is al qaeda which will get stronger because it will have territory on the basis and communications set up. the other is i the somali pirate syndrome because it is turning into a kind of gang land, and each of those gangs will need
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money and they will use crime. they will use drugs and they will use piracy. >> let me change gears. you have this sunday night on cnn a critically important special on innovation as the key to the u.s. economy. what if you wanted to say to our viewers, what do we need to invest in to make innovation once again the driver so we don't have months like the last one where jobs don't get created. what should we be doing? >> two or three crucially important things. the government of the united states has to get much more heavily involved in basic research. we're doing a lot of it in the 1950s and 60s. i think we have to do much more because in the 1950s there was a huge steel industry in the country. there was a huge automobile industry that employed millions and millions of people. all those kinds of jobs that were high-skilled and low education are going away because machines do them better. all that will be left for us are knowledge workers and knowledge industries and innovative
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industries so we've got to figure out how to produce more of that stuff and instead we've been cutting back and we've cut back on state university funding. it created silicon valley and all of that is being gutted. california now builds more prisons than it does college campuses. if we don't get our act together on research of basic science and technology, other countries are doing it now. >> 8 cloj p.m. here on cnn, fareed zakaria on innovation. be sure to watch this sunday night at 8:00 p.m. thanks so much. when question come back the resurrection of the christian coalition. remember ralph reed? he used to be a republican kingmaker. now it looks like he may be playing that role again and i'll find out who he may anoint next. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 absolutely, i mean, these financial services companies tdd# 1-800-345-2550 are still talking about retirement tdd# 1-800-345-2550 like it's some kind of dream.
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>> it's the place to be in washington this weekend. the faith and freedom coalition conference is where republican presidential hopefuls try to prove their bonified base and woo the base. there's one man that conservative power players are courting, ralph reed. reed started this conference just two years ago, but for years he's been a towering figure among evangelical voters. he joins us from outside the conference. thanks for joining us. >> good to be with you, eliot. >> it seems to me you threw a party and everyone suddenly flocked to be at your party. have you become the kingmaker of the republican party?
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>> no, eliot, not at all. the kingmaker will be the primary voters. it will unfold beginning probably in iowa. as you know, there's a lot of jockeying going on with florida and michigan and other, but i tend to think it will remain iowa, new hampshire and south carolina and it will be bunched up after that and what we know, eliot, from the exit polls in 2008 is that 44% of all the voters in the 21 out of the 29 primary states where exit polls were conducted were self-identified evangelicals or social conservatives and so the reality is that this constituency is vibant, it's big and it will turn out in a big way and elliott, when you combine it with the tea party constituency and there's a lot of overlap, there is no road to the nomination without going through this. >> that's why i ask if you're in effect the kingmaker. it does seem to me that any candidate who comes into your conference who doesn't succeed and appeal, will have a tough road ahead of him or her.
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what is the single issue that those who were at the conference want to hear about from the candidates in the next day or two? >> i think everybody's got to have some kind of a compelling and coherent vision that combines limited government, less spending and less debt with a growing economy that will create jobs and opportunity. that was, you know, eliot, we have not had since the depression three election cycles in a row that were referendums in the economy, but we're now going to have it, because that's what it was in 8 and that's where it will be in 12 more than likely and that's number one. >> i agree with you. >> i agree with your analysis there and it seems that the public has gone back and forth safrmelling different ideological answers and hasn't found anything that works or finds compelling. the is any of the candidates that you'll hear from in the next day or two saying something as sufficiently new to get folks excited about the possibility of real success?
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>> well, we haven't heard from all of them yet, but i think what they're really talking about is re-limiting government so that instead of relying on government to create jobs and federal stimulus and borrowing 42% of what we spend every year, let's have the government live within its means and allow the private sector to create the opportunities. i think the other thing that you'll see this weekend and not just this weekend, but also in iowa, south carolina, new hampshire, florida and the other states that these candidates will go is that even a lot of these tea party activists and people who are concerned about debt are also pro-life and pro-marriage and pro-family. so i think they don'tes inially have to lead with those issues, but they clearly have to demonstrate that they share the voters' commitment to those issues. >> our conversation certainly began about jobs and economics and jobs and economics and you're bringing up the issues that have been more traditional issues within the faith community here in the end, but it sounds like economics is trumping faith right now within
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the conservative base that you are leading or speaking for right now. >> i wouldn't say trumps it, but i think that, you know, the reality is when people are hurting and they don't have a job and they can't find a job, you have a responsibility, i believe, as a steward and a servant to meet their need. so this isn't a distinction between your faith and the economy. this is about servant leadership. >> i certainly agree with you. economics will drive this entire campaign, but let me ask you one question about faith. two of the leading republican contenders are mormon. how will that sit? >> i've heard -- i've heard that. >> is it an uncomfortable issue? is it dicey? do people feel comfortable talking about it? how does that fit within a community that's been evangelical christian and how does it play out? >> well, it's interesting. obviously, any time you've got
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an overwhelming majority of a constituence they is evangelical and roman catholic and somebody is a member of a different faith, different religious tradition, it's always something that's going to be talked about, but i don't believe -- i think it may have been an issue for romney in '08, but that was because he was the first truly viable mormon candidate for a party nomination in american history. i mean, even when his dad looked at that time in '68 and ultimately ended up not running he was anything but a major contender by the time he got out and so i think romney was sort of the path breaker. my sense is that it's going to be a lot less of an issue this go around and i certainly hope it isn't a major issue because in the end what we're laking is the ceo of a country and a president, and i don't think that there should be a litmus test based on one's denominational or religious affiliation for that job. >> that's certainly a metaphor mitt romney likes to hear.
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he's always talking about himself as a dre so we'll see how this plays out. ralph reed, always great to talk to you. >> good to talkio you, eliot. up next, dictators never learn. the more they crack down, the more they incite the opposition. case in point, syria, when we come back. and dipped in creamy peanut butter, making your craving for a sweet & salty bar irresistible, by nature valley. [ male announcer ] when you come to new york from a place like detroit, no one expects you to influence the world of fashion. but when you grew up surrounded by rock 'n' roll and heavy industry, you just might make a name for yourself. ♪ that's what a blue-collar attitude can do in a white-collar world. until the combination of three good probiotics
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more cruelty, violence and outright murder in syria today as the government cracked down on tens of thousands of protesters. is the single highest day death toll since the protests began. doenzs were killed in the city of hama alone and once again, children took to the streets and they came to honor hamza ali al
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fati, the 13-year-old boy who was tortured and murdered by government thugs, but no amount of brutality has stopped protesters. the numbers on the streets seemed to grow by the day. cnn's arwa damon joins us now from bear out, lebanon. the country will not allow reporters to enter the country. arwa, what's the latest? >> reporter: well,el yort, as you mentioned there most certainly appears to be the deadliest day to date since the uprising began. the bulk of the casualties concentrated in the city of hamma and eyewitnesses and activists tens of thousands of people gathered in different neighborhoods in the city trying to converge on a central square, when they say syrian security forces as we have seen in the past as activists have claimed in the past indiscriminately opened fire.
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they have been touch by a number of medics in that city and they were simply in tears because of the sheer volume of dead and the sheer volume of casualties that they were having to deal with and we also, according to activists, demonstrations in other parts of the country as well. in some cases they were also met with lethal force and in other case wes tear gas, but eliot, unlike in the past where it has continued to be incredibly difficult to get information on this day, it has been even more challenging because according to activists, the syrian regime shut down the internet and that meants that the flow of videos we have been seeing emerging on to youtube had been significantly decreased. activists were saying that the regime did this because thai don't want the outside world to see what is happening inside syria. >> you know, arwa, another consequence of this shutting down, the internet and the communication systems that it would seem to me, at least is they would become more difficult for those in the opposition to communicate with each other,
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within syria. so do we know how they do that? is there any organization? is there any structure and certainly we don't want to reveal anything we shouldn't reveal, but are they able to communicate so they can maintain a unified front with the assad regime? >> they are to a certain degree, elliott. it also becomes just that much more difficult. what we have seen the opposition do is create a web of communication. they have smaller coored flagz councils within each area that tries to gather information that try to gather these youtube videos and then it is filtered and brought together and they put out regular statements about what's happening around the country and it's very challenging, just to give you an idea of how difficult it is, we were trying to get to eyewitnesses outside of the city that has seen a significant
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military crackdown that began on sunday and one eyewitness i was speaking to was talking about how in certain pockets of this area he couldn't get cell phone reception and so to be able to speak and to be able to get his account of what was happening he either had to literally risk his life to go on to a rooftop and get reception or try to somehow sneak part of the military and get into an area where he could get cell phone reception. so that just gives you an idea of just one of the many challenges that faces the opposition inside syria right now. >> arwa damon, thank you for another great and troubling report. coming up, former presidential candidate john edwards indicted for violating campaign finance laws, but just how solid is the case? jeffrey toobin joins me to examine the evidence. stay with us. building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call
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anything else i can help you with? can i take a ride? you need a ticket -- i'm first! and that's by the water slide. okay. no running. oh, dear. save on all your rides. now, that's progressive. call or click today. >> even years ago john edwards was a presidential candidate and today he was released on his own recognizance. here's what he had to say outside court. >> there's no question that i've done wrong, and i take full responsibility for having done wrong, and i will regret for the rest of my life the pain and the harm that i've caused to others, but i did not break the law, and i never, ever thought i was break the law. >> how did the former presidential candidate get here? joe johns is in winston salem,
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north carolina where john edwards appeared in court today. i spoke with him earlier. >> hi, eliot. well, this was a long day for john edwards and certainly one of the most extraordinary for him and one of the most extraordinary in north carolina politics and perhaps in american politics. this was a guy who was one of the top three contenders in 2008 for the democratic nomination for president and indicted on six counts relating to his activities during that election. so what we had are six counts ranging from conspiracy on one hand and a number of accepting illegal campaign contributions and there was a false statement charge tacked on at the bottom. the information came out here on the docket in winston salem, north carolina, and that's where john edwards showed up this afternoon to face a judge. he came outside after that and talked to reporters for just a
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minute. he didn't answer any questions outside the court. inside the court he answered only a few and the judge imposed some conditions on him and set him free on his own recognizance. so it is clear john edwards is going to fight. he's a litigator and he knows how to fight. he has a great attorney, greg craig who went up and down the road with bill clinton on the impeachment. so that's where we are here in winston salem tonight. >> joe john, this will be a big battle coming in months ahead. thanks so much for that report. to talk about the compelling legal questions raised by this case i am joined by our own jeffrey toobin, senior legal analyst and form prosecutor. you've been in the courtroom and you've written about it. in a broad brush, what is the essential fact or point that the government has to prove to win this case. >> the core of the case is this, john edwards had this child with rielle hunter. he wanted her kept away from the press. $1 million came from two of his
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closest supporters and they went to his aide andrew young who used it to keep her out of the press to support her. the question in the case is was that nearly million dollars a campaign contribution which would have been illegal under the campaign laws campaign laws? or was it simply a gift to their friend, john edwards. >> the edwards camp, the lawyers are arguing vehemently. they're saying forget it. he acknowledged the wrongdoing in terms of the morality of this and the personal shame. but absolutely nothing in the case law, the rules, the regs, no prosecution ever to suggest that this was an illegal campaign contribution. do they have a point? >> they point out statements by former high officials in the election commission. saying we know the facts. this is not a crime. i don't know, it's a close question. it strikes me as a difficult road for the government to prove. because, you know, campaign contributions, i think we all know what we look like.
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but this immoral though it may have been, doesn't exactly look like a campaign contribution. >> this money doesn't go to the campaign fund to get used for ads, to pay staff. this goes to him to support an illegitimate kid and he acknowledged that wrongdoing, it had nothing to do with the campaign technically. >> the government response isn't look, why in the world do these two people not part of edwards' family give this money except to keep the campaign alive. that's the argument we're in favor of. >> the question is a little technical here as a lawyer. if it could be correct, deemed right by the judge, this could be viewed by a campaign contribution, john edwards would have to have known that for him to have the intent to violate the law, am i right about this? >> edwards' intent, not clear to me what his understanding, that's the main fact this this case. another complication here is that the two people who gave the money, fred barron is dead.
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bunny mellon is literally 100 years old and may not be able to testify. the key witness is andrew young, the close aide whom edwards initially persuaded to say he was the father of rielle hunter's child. he's since turned on edwards. he is likely. certainly the evidence of the indictment suggests edwards knew this was a campaign prosecution and the prosecution knows he'll bury john edwards. >> he'll take the stand assieh i made sins. >> what if the government could play the videos of him going to barbara walters saying -- >> disagree. disagree. >> go to the stand and look the jury in the eye and say mea culpa. i've acknowledged the sins, not the illegality. there's never a case like this.
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moreover. >> i would let the lawyers suggest. >> he would say it more effectively. why did he not bring it a as a civil case. the question comes why do you not bring this as a civil enforcement action because there's nothing like this in the case books rather than jumping immediately to the criminal case where you have to prove intent. >> you're raising the most important issue of any prosecutor which is prosecutorial intent. which ones do you choose to bring? this one is -- it does seem like a bit of a stretch. it seems like they're out -- they want to publish john edwards again for certainly something he's been punished for in the public eye. the question is is this an appropriate use of resources? >> it raises a deeper question. this goes to the justice department's use of discretion and enormous resources which are vast. d.o.j., enormous prosecutors, the fbi, across the world, they're pursuing barry bonds about use of steroids, lance
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armstrong, use of steroids, john edwards, however you want to characterize this. where are the cases against wall street. what are the cases that matter based upon the fraud, fraud, fraud, corruption, and crimes committed by senior executives on wall street. i don't see any of them. >> run for office, maybe. the u.s. attorneys, we'll respond to this and saying, look, our job is not to solve the american economy. we should punish crimes they can identify and prosecute. they prosecute white collar trading. the lehman brothers, the goldman sachs, you're right. those cases have not been brought. >> two years investigating this. two years investigating lance armstrong, barry bonds. independently, they stand on their merits. but you come to your point which is the discretion vest in the prosecutor to choose where to allocate resources the decision
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to be made. that's the question they have to answer. >> common cause, which is the campain -- the good government, they came out big in support of this. it's good that they're supporting enforcement. >> it will be interesting to see in due course. up next, in space, no one can hear you scream for room service. a hotel in orbit? not science fiction hen we come back. new england clam chowder. then enjoy a fresh salad with unlimited cheddar bay biscuits, followed by your choice of one of seven entrees, like new shrimp & scallops alfredo, spicy coconut & citrus shrimp, or wood-grilled fresh tilapia. then finish with something sweet, all for just $15. right now at red lobster.
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the space shuttle "endeavour" is now in retirement. a smooth landing earlier this week after a trip up to the international space station to drop off a piece of scientific equipment. the entire program scheduled to shut down in july. we've got a question, what's going to happen to the space station. shuttles have been the chief support of the space station which is essentially a floating science lab, circling 200 miles up in the sky. it's built kind of like a lego set. it started with a russian module in 1998.
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since then, we've added 14 pressurized modules built by the united states, russia, japan, and the european space agency. like prefab housing but more expensive. an intricate structure that supports the modules in 20 sets of solar panels. the estimated cost, a mere $150 billion. the station is also a place where astronauts learn to live in space. that's going to be useful when we start sending them over to the moon and mars. over the years, the men and women in the station learned a new way to exercise. take a look at this. move cargo, including people, and even how to drink water when there's no gravity. watch this video. kind of amazing stuff. then there's the issue of how to sleep when there's no way to figure out which way is up or down or how to shave in zero gs. one final thought, some of us wonder when you might be able to take a vacation in space. so far, seven space tourists have made the trip. paid tens of millions of


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